What is Retrolisthesis and Can I Qualify for Disability Benefits?

Retrolisthesis is a joint dysfunction where the vertebra slips backwards. (If it slips forward, then it’s a condition called spondylolisthesis) There are three forms of this uncommon condition: Complete, partial or stair stepped retrolisthesis. It can be found in the shoulder and neck region, lower back and pelvis or stomach region.

If you suffer from this painful condition, you could qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). In order to file a claim, you need to make sure that you can provide all of the supporting medical documentation that proves you are unable to work as a result of the condition.

How Does Retrolisthesis Affect Ability To Work?

If you suffer from retrolisthesis you could experience a bulge on your back, limited range of motion, back pain and pain in nearby areas. Retrolisthesis is one of several disorders of the spine and it can make it too painful to sit or stand for prolonged periods of time.

In this case, if your job requires you to sit or stand, your ability to work without experiencing pain could be near to completely impossible.

Qualifying with Retrolisthesis

The SSA relies upon the Blue Book to determine your eligibility for disability benefits. The Blue Book is a comprehensive list of medical conditions that helps a reviewer determine whether you are able to work with your diagnosis.

When it comes to retrolisthesis, it falls under the many disorders of the spin listed in section 1.0 Musculoskeletal System. Since retrolisthesis is not mentioned specifically it can fall under disorders of the spine.

How common are bone and joint injuries?

Residual Functional Capacity

If your diagnosis does not fit the exact criteria under the Blue Book, you can still qualify for disability benefits using a residual functional capacity (RFC). The RFC is a form that is completed by your physician and it outlines the maximum amount of work you are capable of doing given your specific diagnosis.

Since the SSA reviewer will not be able to talk with you about how you are impacted by retrolisthesis, the RFC is your opportunity to talk about how your condition makes it impossible to work. In some cases, the treatment for a condition like retrolisthesis can cause side effects that also affect your work, so all of this information can be included in the RFC.

Have Your Case Reviewed by An Attorney 

Filing an application for disability benefits can be stressful. You have to gather all of the medical documentation and make sure that everything is complete. You might consider working with a disability attorney who can help guide you through the process.

A disability attorney who can work with your doctor to make sure that you have all of the evidence you need according to the guidelines in the Blue Book so that your chances for a favorable outcome increase. You won’t need to pay up front and you only pay if your application is approved, so there is very little risk.

To learn more about how a disability attorney can help with your claim, fill out a free case evaluation.